Sunday, September 7, 2014

You Can't Start A Fire Without A Spark

Bruce Springsteen clearly has a lot to teach us. Okay, he might have been talking about love when he sung that line from Dancing In The Dark, but it's a pretty apt observation. You certainly can't start a fire without a spark. Not only is it applicable to love and life and adventures and happiness and new starts, but it coincides with writing.

At this very moment, I've sat down to write a short story, just to get into the habit of writing again, and I need the spark. I can't start without it. If I do, I will remain uninspired and the words will dry up, dwindle, and fade away, then I will have another beginning without a middle and end. The creative juices shall not floweth until I get a flicker. A bit of heat. Some sort of combustion would be nice. Something that will turn into an all out inferno.

It's hard to know when it will come. What will feed the fire. If the spark will fizzle due to lack of oxygen, much like every spark I've had in the last couple months. The best is when you do get the spark and a decent flame going, you're putting kindling on it, stoking it, blowing, and it catches! Oh, it's a glorious feeling to watch the fire build, then you need to put something bigger on it, so it can heat the whole house and not just the living room. This is where it turns into a real challenge. What if the bones aren't dry enough? What if it starts raining doubt and uncertainty? Sometimes a huge gust of negative wind will sweep through and threaten to extinguish the fire of creativity.

Sometimes it does, and you feel so angry that you spent all that time trying to build the fire. You're frustrated because you didn't get to put it out yourself. There are times you kick at the depressing ashes. Other times, you crouch back down and blow on the coals, hoping against all odds you can revive it. The joy that comes when you succeed is exhilarating, nothing compares, but so many times it simply burns out. You promise to come back to it later in the day. Days turn to months. Months to years. Every now and then, you revisit it.

All of this glorious work and frustration and excitement doesn't happen if not for one little thing.

A spark.

So, we wait.

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